10 Things to do in Pokhara on a Budget
For a panoramic view of the Himalayas (when it’s not cloudy) and the beautiful Nepali scenery, take a day to complete the 2/3 hour hike to the Sarangkot Viewpoint. For the small price of 1000 rupees, you can experience the breathtaking sunset and sunrise over the Annapurna Mountain Range with a stay in one of the hotels.
With those with some extra cash use an alternative mode of transport and paraglide back down, an incredible activity to do in Pokhara.
Tip: Research the route up beforehand, but be sure to use the locals along the way for the best routes up.
2. World Peace Pagoda
For around 400 rupees, start your day with a boat trip across beautiful Lake Fewa to the base of the World Peace Pagoda. Ascend up through the forest for a chance to meet a monkey or two and the other wildlife. Once at the top stop for a breather and appreciate the stunning view of the city below over a drink at one of the many cafes.
Whilst touring the Stupa, take in the peaceful silence and let the cultural experience wash over you. Venture down the other side of the hill to view Devi Falls and visit the surrounding caves then make your way back to the hustle and bustle of Pokhara city.
Tip: Check the water levels at Devi Falls before paying the small ticket price, be sure to get blessed with good luck in the cave.
Take a break from the busy city and sit and relax on the beach on the outskirts of Lakeside with fruit from the vendor, a croissant and a pack of cards. Listen to music from the neighbouring bars and watch the world go by.
Tip: Be prepared to fend off the general beggars and beware of taking photos of the children as they are likely to expect a gift in return.
3. Buddhist Monastery
If early mornings don’t phase you maybe a trip to the monastery is in order to watch the Buddhist monks, of varying ages, practice their traditional prayer rituals which includes chanting, trumpet playing and drum banging.
Tip: For as little as 900 rupees take a taxi up before 6am in order to catch the sunrise and be back for breakfast.
5. Local Cafes and Restaurants
Amongst the large establishments of Lakeside, it’s worth moving towards the small family run restaurants offering local and traditional Nepali delicacies. Some of our personal favourites include Shanti Café for the best pakodas in town, Tara’s Hotel for a tasty falafel at 150 rupees and then over to Perky Beans for a milkshake like you’ve never had before including seasonal mango flavours.
Tip: Be prepared for a wait for service but be assured of fresh ingredients and from-scratch cooking.
6.Old Town & Tailoring
If you want to blend in with the locals take a trip to explore Old Town and browse the rainbow of the thousands of fabrics that are on offer for as little as 100 rupees a metre. Return back to Lakeside and get yourself measured up for a hand tailored shirt or kurta choosing from the host of dress patterns available.
Tip: Be prepared to barter for fabric, taxi and tailor prices and do not go on a Saturday as you will find many shops closed.
8. Movie Garden
For an outdoor cinema experience situated in the quiet hills of Lakeside overlooking Lake Fewa, the Movie Garden is a great activity to do in Pokhara and the perfect way to spend a chilled evening. With friendly and accommodating staff offering a bar, Godfather’s Restaurant Pizza, and cushions and blankets you will soon feel at home and be ready for the film to start. Perfect for cult classics (Tarantino being a personal favourite), as well as Saturday kids films where kids go free!
Tip: Check in on Facebook for free popcorn!
9. Pokhara Nightlife
Whatever you’re looking for in your Saturday night, it’s here on Lakeside. Head on over to Buzz Reggae Bar (Happy hour 2 for 1 cocktails ends 8pm) or Silk Road for a chill night, move on to Irish Pub for a flaming shot and a Guinness before dancing the night away at Busy Bee (live music nightly!).
Tip: Double check your change at Busy Bee and expect the prices to be a little higher than elsewhere.
Do not forget about the whole host of amazing cultural festivals that Pokhara has to offer year round! With a little research, you can easily plan your trip around some of the best, including the unmissable Holi Festival of colours. A once in a lifetime experience, get involved with the locals and throw tikka round the streets.
Tip: Others include sugar cane festival and Nepali New Year where the city gets even more exciting.
So what are you waiting for? Book that plane ticket and come join us in Nepal!